Saturday, December 4, 2010

I know I write about abortion a lot.........

Women's health has always been an issue of passion for me. I remember being ten and wanting to be a doctor, "the kind that delivered babies." Even today, I still waffle about going into nursing, midwifery, or public health or even back to a medical school path. At the same time, I remember being pro-life. In middle school, I accidentally found a website with photos of aborted babies and it haunted me. Even earlier, I remember being a second grader in Catholic school, being told (likely on the Roe v. Wade anniversary, it was January) that we were going to have a moment of silence for "unborn children murdered by their mothers." It horrified me. I think I came home and asked my mom about it and I wonder how uncomfortable she must have been with it. It seemed to always be part of my life.

My thoughts and beliefs, my ideas haven't changed. I still think abortion is hard. I don't think most of us wake up in the morning and think, "I'm going to have an abortion." I find that yes, there are ways to reduce the need. However, I have come to see that there are times when it may be necessary. Times such as, two doctors think this woman will die or harm herself. Times such as, birth will kill the baby. Times such as, there is just no other way for my family right now. I think we should absolutely provide more support to women who want to keep their babies, support such as, increased chances for education and employment, affordable housing, fair practices in the workplace, paid maternity leave, access to childcare and healthcare. I also think there should be increased sex education and access to birth control (hey world, married people use contraception too). I don't think most pro-choice people only support a woman's desire to abort. Choice also means the choice to give birth, whether to parent or place the baby up for adoption.

I also don't want women to feel their only option is to engage in dangerous activities to end pregnancy. I don't want women to feel trapped by issues (such as health) that make it impossible for them to have a baby. I don't want a girl, a little girl, to die giving birth (and lose the baby, too) all because she was abused. I don't want women to be without access to procedures that could save their lives (abortion procedures are also used to help with a miscarriage, to ensure that a mother doesn't get an infection). Finally, I don't think medical decisions belong in the hands of politicians or the public. What happens between a woman, God, and her doctor should remain between those parties.

I probably wouldn't have an abortion. I do still consider myself a Catholic. I do support organizations on both sides that genuinely want what's best. I still want to ensure that all women have access to health care that is right for them. I'm not God. I don't know all women's situations and reasons. I don't think it's fair to paint all women or all doctors with a broad brush. Women need to be trusted. End of story.

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